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Extinction goes extinct

by Nicholas Mazur - Campus Talk Editor
Tue, Apr 10th 2018 09:00 pm

If you watch “Jurassic Park” with your eyes open, it’s pretty hard to miss the major message of the film: respect the balance and power of nature. However, if there is one thing humans have little respect for, it is. As science grows, our reverence for its power seems to dwindle.

Though not today or tomorrow, the horizon is beginning to glow with the scientific prospects of resurrecting extinct species. Fear not, though, DNA is only viable up to 1 million years, so you can sleep sound knowing that there are no dinosaurs coming to gobble you up, Spielberg style. Something like a wooly mammoth, however, may only be a few years away. 

Using technology that we discussed in “Beaker Speaker” a couple of weeks ago, with the endangered white rhino,  zoos could be advertising a woolly mammoth-elephant hybrid before you know it, according to the BBC.

One of the challenges that this field faces is high mortality rates. Clones of animals tend to have a high rate of death, something scientists believe is due to the shock of the donor egg’s nucleus resisting the introduction of a foreign set of DNA. If they can survive this stage, they are usually healthy. According to the BBC, this means that the hurdles for this type of science are political rather than financial.

The article also delves into the tourist programs that could stem from this prospect. Clones of endangered rhinos could be hunted for sport without fear of making them go extinct. Rare fish in Japan that are delicacies can be eaten without fear of overfishing them. 

Though it is no “Jurassic Park,” there are certainly opportunities to make money with this technology, which could certainly earn it the revenue it needs to succeed.

Oh boy, where to begin on this one? Well, let’s start with that high mortality rate, shall we? We can get back to the tourism thing, but how ethical is this experiment if the result is high mortality rates? The whole reason we need it in the first place is because we could not stop killing these species. So, how is it fair to bring more species into this world when they probably are not going to make it, all because we can’t get the science just right? That has so many failures stacked on top of each other that it’s just ridiculous.

Tourism? Seriously, did you guys fall asleep during “Jurassic Park” or what? Animals should not be resurrected for tourists’ pleasure. Bringing a species back just to hunt them or eat them? Does no one hear how insane that sounds? That makes us sound like a bunch of sick gods who look at the earth as our playground? 

All of that scientific power being harnessed so that cruel, rich dentists can feel young and potent again. Not to mention people who can’t just shut up and have a sandwich instead of using biological ressurection of a species to enjoy a rare pufferfish. What a rock bottom, seriously.

The last thing I want to mention about this is something the article did not consider. Bringing back extinct species that we drove into extinction is one thing, but woolly mammoths? Mother Nature and evolution work on very strict principles. The reason that extinct species don’t come back on their own is because they aren’t supposed to. Evolution works on a linear path. 

Normally, without human intervention, evolution eliminates species that are not suited for the current environment. If mammoths and dinosaurs and ancient sea scorpions and pterodactyls and the whole lot of them are extinct, it is because that is the natural course of life. 

The same thing will happen to humans (whether we like it or not) and that is just the natural course of life. Tampering with that cycle is nasty, messy and not worth the trouble. Money hungry people may see it as a quick cash grab, but I see it as a perversion of the natural world, just another check mark in the column of crimes of humanity against nature.

 

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